Evil Children: Children and Evil

The idea of the child as innocent, as pure, the ‘little angel’ in need of protection from the harsh realities of life and the corrupting influences of the world around us has come to dominate our thinking, language, values, social policies and educational philosophies. Children are seen as ‘little people’, ‘blank slates’, works in progress who are loved, nurtured and guided as they grow to become mature, rational and responsible adults.

Yet we are also aware of the mischievous ‘little monsters’, the ‘little devils’ who run exasperated parents ragged. The toddlers who chase pigeons; kick cats; pull the wings off flies and the legs off spiders. Children of whom we become afraid; who abuse other children; who assault each other, strangers, parents, the elderly. Children who ‘roam’ and ‘own’ the streets, individually or ‘in packs’; who are put ‘into care’; who commit crimes; who smoke, drink, and take drugs. Feral children. Children who rape. Children who torture. Children who kill. Children who are ‘possessed’: demonic children, evil children who do evil things.

This research stream will juggle with three competing approaches to children and evil. The first concerns itself with how (certain) children have been presented as evil and considers the nature of evil children as a social and cultural construct. The second  concerns what is meant by ‘innocence’ – in all contexts – and then particularly the ‘innocence of a child’. The third approach considers the question of whether and, if so, in what ways children can be evil.  Are children wicked? Are children malicious? What does it mean to be personally, socially, legally and morally responsible? And, if responsibility exists, at what point does one assume responsibility for one’s acts? What is it about the special status of ‘childhood’ that somehow makes it different?


Evil Children: Children and Evil
Saturday 9th October 2021 – Sunday 10th October 2021
Online: ShockLogic

Call for papers, presentations and participation now active.


Women, Power, and Abuse: Interdisciplinary Essays on “Evil Women” ed. Helen Gavin is under contract with Emerald Publishing.

Publications from previous meetings of Evil Hub projects which we are pleased to curate on behalf of the Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Frightful Witnessing
Frightful Witnessing: The Rhetoric and (Re)Presentation of Fear Observing the anguish of others -- voyeuristically looking at their pain through the ‘keyhole’ of the media, eavesdropping on their stories of horror, or reading accounts of terror -- can be a frightful experience; but it is also ...Book Details
Author : Beth A. Kattelman
Publish : 01/06/2014
Publisher : Inter-Disciplinary Press
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Frightful Witnessing: The Rhetoric and (Re)Presentation of Fear
Forces of Evil
The Forces of Evil In this volume of essays, the authors delve into how evil forces within our culture subjugate us into shame and degradation. Within the following essays, we discover that in many ways evil and violence are incorporated into our cultural institutions as a means of conveying a grea...Book Details
Author : Anthony F. Crisafi
Publisher : Inter-Disciplinary Press
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The Forces of Evil
Female of the Species
The Female of the Species: Cultural Constructions of Evil, Women From Alien Queens to prostitutes, ‘phallic’ mothers to child-murderers, evil women proliferate across cultural productions that span millennia. This collection explores the perennial question of ‘evil’ and its relationship to...Book Details
Author : Hannah Priest
Publish : 01/05/2013
Publisher : Inter-Disciplinary Press
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The Female of the Species: Cultural Constructions of Evil, Women
Evil and the State: Interdisciplinary Perspectives It has been argued that situational and experiential factors provide a moral lens through which people judge the morality or otherwise of actions. The research presented within this volume takes this a step further and illustrates that individual d...Book Details
Author : Ben Livings
Publish : 01/01/2013
Publisher : Inter-Disciplinary Press
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Evil and the State: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
The Changing Places and Faces of War What are the consequences of interventions? Does Islam justify and promote war? Why did the IRA declare a war on drugs? How do civilians fare in the aftermath of war? These and many other questions are discussed in this new volume on war and conflict. An interdi...Book Details
Author : Peter Mario Kreuter
Publisher : Inter-Disciplinary Press
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The Changing Places and Faces of War
Beyond the Monstrous: Reading from the Cultural Imaginary Twenty-first century’s fascination with monsters in popular culture is not new. Throughout history, many of the world’s cultures have created beings they deem ‘other’ and ‘monstrous,’ beings which, many scholars agree, ultimately...Book Details
Author : Eva Gladhill
Publish : 1/06/2013
Publisher : Inter-Disciplinary Press
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Beyond the Monstrous: Reading from the Cultural Imaginary
Attack on All Fronts: The Culture of Twentieth-Century War The twentieth-century was arguably the most belligerent in history, marked as it was by a culture of war - that is, values, attitudes, and so on, which support the waging of war. At the same time, this culture shifted profoundly so that n...Book Details
Author : Nanette Norris
Publish : 1/05/2014
Publisher : Inter-Disciplinary Press
Attack on All Fronts: The Culture of Twentieth-Century War
Vile Women: Female Evil in Fact, Fiction and Mythology Is the evil that women do, and the evil with which they are accused, always one and the same? How might female evil, real, assumed, or appropriated confound gendered expectation and challenge patriarchal assumptions? What strategies have women ...Book Details
Author : Anthony Patterson
Publish : 31/1/2013
Publisher : Inter-Disciplinary Press
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Vile Women